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Old 01-17-2013, 11:12 PM   #1 
DSquad4
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Question Is it necessary to let water sit for 24 hours before doing a water change

I've heard from multiple sources that before you do a water change you should condition the water you're going to be adding to the tank 24 hours beforehand and let it sit so the chlorine can evaporate. However, when i asked the pet shop guy about water conditioners, he said that they instantly make tap water suitable for bettas. Plus the bottle says it neutralizes chlorine and other harmful substances in tap water, so why do so many people say you need to let the water sit? Do I really need to let the water sit or can I use it immediately as long as it's conditioned before I put it in the tank?
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:19 PM   #2 
Bluewind
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I will tell you what others have told me. It is more important to make sure that it's the same temp as your tank than to let it sit overnight. What sitting it does is let harmful chemicals evaporate off the top. Water conditioner binds cloriene, clorimine, and other things to makes them harmless. It is an either/or thing really

Also, some other internet things...
1. Salt is bad long term for fish with laberanth organs or scaleless. It's good to treat health issues for up to 10 days, but that's it
2. Bettas do in fact need a heater. In fact, most fish and inverts do! Try to keep it 78-80 degrees F, but 76-82 is fine
3. The can NOT be happy in a tiny tank. Much less healthy. The minimum tank size for 1 is 2.5-3gallons. With shrimp or a snail, 5 gallons. Other tanksmates or a group of females, 10 gallons
4. Clean "looking" water is not the same as clean water. Clear water could have fatal amonia levels. Do lots of pwc and testing (API Master Kit)
5. Bigger filters don't mean you can overstock your tank

Last edited by Bluewind; 01-17-2013 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #3 
SnowySurface
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The answer is simple, you are getting multiple answers to your questions because there are multiple ways to treat tank water.

If you don't want to use conditioner, you can leave water to sit for 24-48 hours and let the chlorine evaporate out of the water.

If you do want to use conditioner, you can add the conditioner and then immediately add the treated water to the tank.

If you want to use conditioner and time, then you can condition that water and then leave it to sit so the inactivated chlorine can evaporate out of the water.

Personally, I condition my water and then add it immediately because my tank water isn't the same temp as my bedroom and I have a bad habit of spilling water everywhere. The faster I get the water from the faucet to my tanks, the better. XD
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #4 
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Originally Posted by SnowySurface View Post

If you don't want to use conditioner, you can leave water to sit for 24-48 hours and let the chlorine evaporate out of the water.
While this may work for chlorine it does not work well for chloramine, which is also something that will kill your betta. Unfortunately I learned this lesson the hard way. Water varies region to region, especially if you're in the city always use conditioned water for changes.

I think that for most people who suggest conditioning water and letting it sit out, the goal is so that they know the water is room temperature before adding it. This method works fine if your betta doesn't have a heater. I'm not saying bettas shouldn't have a heater, but that's how I used to do it when I was a kid.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:24 AM   #5 
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While this may work for chlorine it does not work well for chloramine, which is also something that will kill your betta. Unfortunately I learned this lesson the hard way. Water varies region to region, especially if you're in the city always use conditioned water for changes.

I think that for most people who suggest conditioning water and letting it sit out, the goal is so that they know the water is room temperature before adding it. This method works fine if your betta doesn't have a heater. I'm not saying bettas shouldn't have a heater, but that's how I used to do it when I was a kid.
True. But not all water treatment plants use Chloramine in place of Chlorine.

Also the point of my post was to explain to the OP that he/she was getting different answers to the same question because there are different answers to the same question. My answer works when the water only has chlorine and no chloramine. Your answer works when the water does have chloramine and the fish owner has a fish room with a consistant room temp that bypasses the need for a heater. Niether of us are wrong because we are both right for difference scenerios.

I didn't forget about Chloramine. I simply answered the OP's question about Chlorine because that is what he/she wanted to know about. I figured the OP knew his/her water is treated with Chlorine (as do I) and didn't have to care about Chloramine.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:10 AM   #6 
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I tend to let mine sit, just so it can get to a stable temperature. Our water temperature is unpredictable in the winter. One minute it's scorching hot, the next it's painfully cold. Our water is also filled with tons of air, so even if it feels warm on the outside, sometimes it's ice cold in the middle or too hot because of a strange air pocket thing. So, it's my personal preference to leave it sit, so it's all the same temp.

If you're using a good water conditioner and your water temp is stable, you don't need to let it sit.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:45 AM   #7 
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Selected quotes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowySurface View Post
True. But not all water treatment plants use Chloramine in place of Chlorine.....

I didn't forget about Chloramine. I simply answered the OP's question about Chlorine because that is what he/she wanted to know about. I figured the OP knew his/her water is treated with Chlorine (as do I) and didn't have to care about Chloramine.
Many water treatment plants that use primarily chlorine to disinfect water will occasionally flush the system with ammonia. This, in turn, creates chloramines.

In fact, a lot of treatment plants prefer chloramines to chlorine. Chloramines are better at treating organic material than chlorine is. Also, they do not break down as quickly as chlorine does, which means it stays in the pipes longer (and can disinfect the water for a longer period of time). And chloramines produce fewer 'bad by-products' than chlorine does.

For these reasons, it's a good idea to add a water conditioner to tap water. The brand of conditioner isn't as important as it's being able to remove chlorine, chloramines, and metals.

As for letting the water sit, it isn't necessary from a chemical perspective. The conditioner will remove the chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. The process occurs quickly.

Here is more info, if you really want to know more about chloramines.
http://www.lenntech.com/processes/di...hloramines.htm
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:41 PM   #8 
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Many water treatment plants that use primarily chlorine to disinfect water will occasionally flush the system with ammonia. This, in turn, creates chloramines.

In fact, a lot of treatment plants prefer chloramines to chlorine. Chloramines are better at treating organic material than chlorine is. Also, they do not break down as quickly as chlorine does, which means it stays in the pipes longer (and can disinfect the water for a longer period of time). And chloramines produce fewer 'bad by-products' than chlorine does.

For these reasons, it's a good idea to add a water conditioner to tap water. The brand of conditioner isn't as important as it's being able to remove chlorine, chloramines, and metals.

As for letting the water sit, it isn't necessary from a chemical perspective. The conditioner will remove the chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. The process occurs quickly.

Here is more info, if you really want to know more about chloramines.
http://www.lenntech.com/processes/di...hloramines.htm
I know no one is attacking me...but this is part of the reason I don't worry about Chloramines.

Here is the PDF file that shows NY States is not part of the 20% of the USA that have switched from Chlorine to Chloramines.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/wwsystem.pdf

Here is the PDF file that shows my local water treatment plant follows NY State in terms of using Chlorine to disinfect water as well as all the random contaminations that are in my local tap water.

http://65.36.213.246/dwqr2012/wellFiles/Distribution%20Area%201.pdf

Trust me... based on that list of contaminations, the last thing I have to worry about is Chloramines.

The other reason I don't worry about Chloramines is I tested my tap water for pH, hardness, and ammonia before I set up my tanks. The pH is a bit high, my water is a bit hard, and the ammonia was zero. So I don't have to worry about free ammonia reacting with free Chlorine in my pipes. And I STILL use Prime to treat my water because I am a paranoid, over reactive, fish mama. That is part of the reason I did so much research on NY State water treatment when I lived with my Grandma and researched the differences between Nassau County and Suffolk county water treatment plants when I moved 30 minutes east of my home town into my own place.

Yes, I am that insanely focused on water quality.

Maybe the OP lives in the 20% of the US that has switched over to Chloramines. In that case, the additional information helped out the OP. It also lead to an interesting article about Chloramines that was actually better written than other articles I've come across. Maybe NY State will make the switch to Chloramines in the future, but as of 2012, NY State still uses Chlorine.

When I say I don't have to worry about something, it's because I did a few hours of research to rule it out as a problem.

Last edited by SnowySurface; 01-21-2013 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:48 PM   #9 
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You always need conditioner because letting it sit 24-48hours won't remove heavy metals or chloramines (your conditioner should say it removes these).

Reasons to let it sit include an unstable tap ph (one where the ph of your tap water is one thing, but once it sits in an aerated and heated buck it falls or climbs to something else) or also those gas bubbles. Some people are afraid it could build inside the fish, but I've never seen it happen.

If your tap water ph is unstable, you do need to let it sit. If it's not, then imho it's not as important.

It's always okay to let it sit but then you have to get it back up to tank temp before doing a water change somehow. I keep a dedicated heated fish room, but I and have extra heaters with multiple clean 5g buckets I picked up at Home Depot. The later is what most people do.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:58 PM   #10 
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Ive never let my water sit. I use a Python on my larger tanks so I just adjust the temp at the tap, add conditioner to the tank and refill. On my smaller tanks that I still use a bucket with, I fill the bucket with water adjusted to temp at the tap, add conditioner and then pour it into the tank. I've gotten to where I can just use my hand to estimate the water temp. I use to drop a thermometer into the bucket to check the temp.
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